While we’re all still enjoying these last few weeks of summer, it’s hard not to think about the hectic fall event season. Sure, technology gives us lots of shortcuts to make our jobs easier, but who has time to master them, especially when there are so many options?

social-networking copyThe summer slowdown is an excellent time to experiment with new technology, so here’s an overview and how to make the most of the latest technology tools. Immerse yourself in them now, and before you know it, attendees will happily be your word-of-mouth marketers.

Vine: Twitter’s free, mobile app lets users easily create and upload six-second videos. The key to getting your videos re-Vined is to have a single, succinct message. Generate buzz by hinting at the headline act, featuring the keynote or demonstrating a new product. Also, consider shooting a video the next time you’re at the event location. Since you can control who sees them, you can gather feedback before you share your videos with the world.

Pinterest: Yes, you can use this visual social media site for event planning. Create event-specific boards that tell exciting, visual stories about past events and what attendees can look forward to seeing at the next one. You may also want to create a contest leading up to the event. It could be based on images pinned to your board, with winners recognized at the event.

Mobile check-in and payments: These great tools cut down on long registration lines and paperwork. Additionally, you can further engage attendees by presenting them with the option of receiving notifications from you about important event news and highlights. Since check-in and payment are two of the most important aspects of your event, run several tests so you can spot potential glitches before you go live. A word to the wise: The most common glitches involve international attendees, special rates, discount codes and group registrations.

Boosting social media engagement

By now, creating a Facebook event page and sharing the hashtag is probably old hat to you. But there are fresh ways to use these channels to build excitement around the event. Here are five ways to make that happen:

  1. Host a Twitter chat with your keynote speaker before the event and use discussion threads to inspire your next event-centric blog post or newsletter.
  2. Start conversations on your Facebook event page by asking relevant and provocative questions.
  3. Create a meeting spot at the event so on-site fans and followers can connect in person.
  4. Encourage attendees to create their own Vine videos.
  5. Post videos, photos and survey feedback on your Facebook page and in your post-event newsletter. Be sure that each channel features fresh content and there are bi-directional links that can be forwarded and shared on other social media sites.

The more you combine social media and event marketing throughout the planning and execution process, the more successful each event will be.

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What techology and social media channels help you plan your meetings and events? Do you have favorites? Horror stories? Best practices? Please share your thoughts in our comment section below.